There’s something to be said about a truly memorable phone. Nostalgia goes a long way! Just look at the movie industry, which has a tendency to rely on nostalgia (whether earned or not) in efforts to sell blockbuster properties many, many years later. The smartphone industry doesn’t really follow the same methods, but that isn’t to say that there aren’t phones that haven’t left an unwavering mark on most of us.
Like many of you, I’ve used a lot of phones over the years. In some years I’ve used handfuls of them, from varying platforms and manufacturers. Some years I’ve only used one. I honestly think it’s pretty great using a phone from Samsung and HTC, or Motorola and LG, or any other company, if for only reason to see how they do things differently.
The differences are pretty great, more often than not, and if we’re looking at the Android platform because that’s where the differences really get to shine.
Because so many companies out there have adopted Google’s mobile operating system as their go-to platform, they needed to incorporate a means to make them stand out. Hardware is one way, sure, but all those years ago I don’t think those companies thought it would be enough. There needed to be real differentiators, and the best way to achieve that was with software. Make it different to use an HTC-branded smartphone when compared to a Samsung-branded smartphone.
Sure, there are similarities, because after all they are running the same version of the mobile OS under all the customizations, but there’s no arguing that HTC’s Sense UI and Samsung’s TouchWiz were very different — especially when both of those companies were so focused on weighing down the platform hosting those changes with a ton of baked-in features and gimmicks.
I remember those days, those years ago, pretty fondly, because I can’t help but think about the HTC G1 every once in awhile. It was not only the first publicly released Android smartphone, but it was also my first Android phone as well. I owned smartphones before that, what we called smartphones back in those days (it really wasn’t all that long ago!), but the G1 really changed everything for me.
(Yes, the iPhone deserves credit, obviously, but I honestly loved the G1 more, not just for its software but also the hardware because I still loved physical keyboards.)
But I’m curious to know which Android phone was your first, and if it’s a handset you remember fondly. Was your first Android smartphone the one that made you want to keep using the Android platform from then on? Or was your first Android experience enough to make you jump ship for good, or even just for a short period of time? Did you end up hating your first Android phone? Let me know!